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Taronga Zoo's Project Penguin 2010 kicked off today! The first half of the Primary School Students from around Manly visited the Zoo to begin learning all about their locally endangered Little Penguin colony.

The 240 kids began the day face to face with a Wedge tailed Eagle, a Powerful Owl and a Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo - all animals that share something in common with Manly's Little Penguins - they're at threat and they need help!

The students heard from an expert Penguin Keeper who told them all about breeding and caring for Taronga's Little Penguin collection as the penguins were swimming all around them in the underwater viewing area.

They also heard from Taronga's Vet Nursing staff who explained their role in helping Manly's Little Penguins through rescue, rehabilitation of sick and injured birds and releasing back to the open oceans.

The schools finished the day brainstorming for their Community Awareness Challenge. The challenge is for the school children to design a project that will help Manly residents learn how to protect the Little Penguins in the area. Their ideas were really creative and I can already tell that it’s going to be hard to judge the winners this year!

There was a real buzz in the air today and everyone is really excited to be a part of Project Penguin. Next week all 670 students over three days will be heading out to the beaches around Manly to learn more about their little local resident.

Education Officer, Nikki

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